Multiple sclerosis, abbreviated as MS, is disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Although symptoms vary with each individual, common symptoms include leg pain or difficulty with leg movements such as walking. Leg pain is a general term to describe any discomfort in one or both of the legs.
MS is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body's immune system is overactive, and as a result, attacks its own cells. In the case of MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system, which is composed of the brain and spinal cord. More specifically, MS affects the nerve cells ability to communicate with each other. Presently there is no cure for MS and the prognosis is difficult to predict as each individual's experience with the disease is different.
Common symptoms of MS include numbness, pain in the arms or legs, difficulty moving the arms or legs, slurred speech, tremors in the legs or arms, weakness in the legs or arms, vision loss, double vision, decreased attention span, decreased memory, fatigue, hearing loss, dizziness, constipation, incontinence, frequent urination and stool leakage.
Medications can be administered to slow the progression of the disease and to control the symptoms. In addition, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, planned exercise programs, good nutrition, and assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, can help patients live better with MS.
The most common cause of leg pain is physical injury. For example, slips and falls, overuse and other leg muscle injuries can cause tenderness in the legs. Back injuries can also cause sciatica, a shooting pain down the legs. Fractures, which are broken or cracked bones, sprains and strains are the most common forms of leg injuries. Leg pain can also be a symptom of disease. For instance, individuals with deep vein thrombosis, or DVT for short, experience chronic pain in the thigh and lower leg.
Any persistent leg pain should be discussed with a medical professional. However, obtain immediate care if the leg or legs become swollen, you have a fever, the pain worsens with activity or movement.